This past weekend I attended a Mindfulness Retreat at Cedar Creek in New Haven, Missouri. Nestled in the rolling hills of wine country, I felt surrounded in peace and tranquility. The retreat was beautifully orchestrated by the Ladies Ministry at Morning Star Church. The theme was “Why Do You Run” with Kristen Myers.
Why are so many retreats located in remote, natural settings? Because, Nature reminds us to slow down.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~ Lao Tzu
Throughout the weekend, everyone shared why they run. I took notes, documenting what others said. I categorized them into past, present, and future. And compiled them into one four-letter f word: FEAR.
Running from the past: from abandonment, abuse, addiction, betrayal, loss, rejection, pain and suffering.
Running in the present: to conform, to compete, to compare, to perfect, to perform, to please, to somehow compensate for something in the past.
Running to be in the future: to accomplish, to accumulate, to achieve, to be better and have more, to somehow, anyhow, compensate for something in the past.
My theory: We must let go of our fear to live and love whole-heartedly. We are this moment, nothing more.
As a runner, I was naturally attracted to the theme, “Why Do You Run?” While it is a metaphor of our lives, I contemplated the literal question also. Running for me is a meditation. It is a means to slow down, renew my intentions, and connect with All. When I need clarity, I can always find it on a run. Translation: The answers are within; I just have to be quiet so I can hear them.
Here is a new correlation for me. My “becoming” of a runner and a minimalist were born together and are interwoven into my life. My first mile was run after the move from the big house – the one we were either working on or working for. Ironic? I don’t think so.
It is when I focus on love that I attract more of the same, and fear falls to the wayside. There is no room for fear in a life of plenty.
I did a few calculations. In these past five years, I have run 5,000 miles and biked 10,000 miles. You may be thinking, “That sounds crazy, impossible. She’s addicted. I don’t have that kind of time. I have to work 60 hours a week, manage a taxi service, maintain a meticulous home and yard, volunteer at school on Monday, well baby check-up on Tuesday, replace tires on Wednesday, chiropractor on Thursday, promotion happy hour on Friday, and 3 birthday parties on Saturday.”
5,000 miles / 5 years = 1,000 miles / 52 weeks = 19 miles / 6 mph = 3.2 hours per week
10,000 miles / 5 years = 2,000 miles / 52 weeks = 38 miles / 15 mph = 2.5 hours per week
3.2 + 2.5 = 5.7 hours /week. That is less than one hour per day in mindful contemplation of my intentions and purpose.
Remember, one size does not fit all. Find your own means of meditation – whatever you do to lose your mind and find your senses. It is probably somewhere in the joy of the right brain: gardening, hiking, painting, pottery, writing, yoga. The point is to find it and do it often. All the other stuff will wait or simply disappear.
When I allow myself the time and space to recognize it and call it by name – the four-letter f word – FEAR, I can let it go.
Gotta run – I think Part 2 is just a few miles away. If you like this, please share. Thank you, my friend.